imgChrisMoraes Christopher Moraes, Ph.D.
Canada Research Chair in Advanced Cellular Microenvironments
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Associate member, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering; Goodman Cancer Research Center

E:  chris.moraes <at>  Office: Wong 4330

Chris Moraes is a hybrid engineer: he trained in nanoengineering (B.A.Sc.), and switched into mechanical and biomedical engineering (Ph.D, U. Toronto) before holding a Banting / NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Biointerfaces Institute.  His research interests lie at the interface between engineering, biology and medicine, and he is particularly curious about the role microenvironmental biomechanical forces play in driving disease and development. Recent honours include the NSERC Howard Alper postdoctoral prize, and the Leyerle-CIFAR prize for interdisciplinary research.


imgArvindC Arvind Chandrasekaran, Ph.D., P.Eng., Postdoctoral fellow
Arvind obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University, in Microfluidics and Microsystems. He worked as a Product development engineer at the Alberta Centre for Advanced Micro-Nanotech Products in Calgary, and later as Lab Manager at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, before joining the Moraes lab as a postdoc. His research interests lie in applying engineering towards translational medicine, and is currently investigating single cell mechanics and microfabrication technologies to integrate 3D cell culture systems into in-vitro culture platforms. But no amount of research has been able to keep him away from his passion for cricket, fitness or photography !
AvitalHorowitz_site Avital Horowitz, M.Eng. candidate
Avital is a Montreal native, M.Eng candidate in the department of Chemical Engineering. Her current project is quantifying the biomechanical feedback loops that occur in fibrotic diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Specifically, using a microfabrication approach to understand how matrix stiffness effects lung cell behaviour. Avital has her undergraduate degree in Honours Anatomy and Cell Biology (BSc, McGill), and although she was extensively involved in Cellular and Molecular Biology research, she yearned for an integrative, applied, and creative approach to science for her graduate studies. When Avital is not in the lab, she enjoys practicing yoga, biking around the beautiful city of Montreal, and cooking. 
imgLisaZhao Lisa Zhao, M.Eng. candidate
Lisa completed an undergraduate chemical engineering degree from McGill and is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  She will be developing and fune-tuning an innovative soft silicone microstructure through “Supersoft” lithography, for use in a modified high-throughput screening process.  Previously, Lisa has been a teaching assistant for a separation processes class and developed two laboratory activities to help understand core concepts in distillation.  Her activities outside the lab include being a varsity athlete on the McGill Tennis Team, painting and practicing yoga.
imgMarwanAbduljawad Marwan Abduljawad, Ph.D. candidate
Marwan is originally from Saudi Arabia and he came to us from USA. He got his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from Yanbu Industrial College and the University of Arizona. He has experience in nanotechnology during his Master degree, where he focused on making insulin nanoparticles and developing a new oral drug delivery method. He is interested in exploring the area of microengineering during his PhD program at McGill, and he is currently working on tissue extracellular matrix nanoparticles. In his free time, Marwan likes to swim, cook, watch movies, video gaming, play soccer and spend time with his friends and family.
imgRayTran Ray Tran, M.Eng. candidate
Ray is originally from Toronto, Ontario and he obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is currently pursuing a Master of under the co-supervision of Prof. C. Hoesli and Prof. C. Moraes. His research is involves understanding and optimizing the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional insulin-secreting beta cells with regards to different substrates, soluble signals and culture dimensionality. Outside of the lab, Ray enjoys cooking, watching movies, and exercising.
imgSanyaSiddiqui Sanya Siddiqui, M.Eng. candidate
Sanya is a Master’s student in the department of Chemical Engineering under the co-supervision of Dr. Moraes and Dr. Tufenkji. She is originally from London, Ontario and graduated with a B.ESc in Chemical Engineering from The University of Western Ontario. Sanya has a background in antimicrobial biomaterials but is excited to explore the area of microengineering. Outside of the lab, Sanys enjoys reading, cooking and socializing with friends.
imgStephanieMok Stephanie Mok, Ph.D. candidate
Stephanie comes to us from the University of Western Ontario to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering, a rather dramatic shift from her days studying the basic medical sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree specializing in pathology and toxicology, as well as a Masters of Science in pathology. She’s excited to dabble in single-cell models to better understand how changes to their microenvironment can lead to the development of disease. Her current hobbies and interests include rock climbing, bicycling, video gaming and reading.
WontaeLee_site Wontae Lee, M.Eng. Candidate
Wontae is an (almost) fully assimilated Korean-Canadian from mostly Ontario – latest location: Toronto. Presently, she is pursuing her Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering (co-supervised by Richard Leask), studying the relationship between cell-generated forces and functional tissue activity via engineered mechanosensors.  Outside of the lab, Wontae enjoys a mishmash of sports, film (both the cinema and photography variety), and eating hamburgers and ice cream (but not together, because ew). Her favourite joke: What’s red and bad for your teeth? A brick!
imgNikKalashnikov Nikita Kalashnikov, NSERC USRA / SURE undergraduate RA
Nik has been all over the world: of Russian descent, he was born in Israel and raised in Montreal. He is now studying chemical engineering at McGill and is pursuing a biomedical engineering minor. He is working on developing a simple and easy-to-use technique to measure mechanical properties of cells, and designing smart material scaffolds for tissue engineering. When Nik is not busy, he is at the gym lifting weights, running laps and doing some heavy bag work.
Patricia Sosa, MITACS GlobalLink summer intern
imgSarahDubois Sarah Dubois, NSERC USRA / SURE undergraduate RA
Sarah is an undergraduate chemical engineering student and is from Alberta. She will be developing a super-soft lithography device for high-throughput screening, as well as using super soft lithography to mimic pulmonary tissue. Outside of the lab Sarah is a varsity goalkeeper for the McGill soccer team. In her free time she enjoys big campfires and mountain air.
imgSarahEzzeddine Sarah Ezzeddine, Undergraduate RA
Sarah is an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering. She is Lebanese-Ivorian, born and raised in Ivory Coast. In the lab, she is working on smart material hydrogels for diagnostic applications. Outside of the lab, Sarah enjoys discovering new restaurants and spending her time on the beach.
imgSonya Sonya Kouthouridis, Undergraduate RA
Sonya is an undergraduate chemical engineering student and a Montreal native. She is studying the effects of micropatterned surfaces on the chemotherapeutic resistance of cancer cells. Outside the lab, Sonya enjoys cooking, watching movies and doing yoga.
Xavier Wong, EUL Undergraduate summer RA

We are currently hiring graduate students for Masters and Ph.D. programs beginning January 2016.  If you’re interested in taking a strong multidisciplinary approach towards integrating microtechnologies, engineering and medicine, please consider joining our team.

Previous lab members

2015-2016: Andrea Saliba, Undergraduate RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2015-2016: Camilla Jiang, Undergraduate RA , Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2016 (Winter):  Sabrina Clarke, Undergraduate RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2014-2015: Katie MacDonald, NSERC undergraduate RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2014 (Summer):  Celestine Hong, NSERC Undergraduate Summer RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
2014 (Summer):  David Chondon, NSERC Undergraduate Summer RA, Dept. of Chemical Engineering,
2014 (Summer):  Jessica Golo Vaz De Lima, Undergraduate Exchange RA, Science without Borders
2014 (Summer):  Jessica Ronci, Undergraduate RA